Ye too, ye Fates, whose righteous doom,
Declared but once, is sure as heaven,
Link on new blessings, yet to come,
To blessings given!
Let Earth, with grain and cattle rife,
Crown Ceres’ brow with wreathen corn;
Soft winds, sweet waters, nurse to life
The newly born!
O lay thy shafts, Apollo, by!
Let suppliant youths obtain thine ear!
Thou Moon, fair “regent of the sky,”
Thy maidens hear!
If Rome is yours, if Troy’s remains,
Safe by your conduct, sought and found
Another city, other fanes
On Tuscan ground,
For whom, ’mid fires and piles of slain,
AEneas made a broad highway,
Destined, pure heart, with greater gain.
Their loss to pay,
Grant to our sons unblemish’d ways;
Grant to our sires an age of peace;
Grant to our nation power and praise,
And large increase!
See, at your shrine, with victims white,
Prays Venus and Anchises’ heir!
O prompt him still the foe to smite,
The fallen to spare!
Now Media dreads our Alban steel,
Our victories land and ocean o’er;
Scythia and Ind in suppliance kneel,
So proud before.
Faith, Honour, ancient Modesty,
And Peace, and Virtue, spite of scorn,
Come back to earth; and Plenty, see,
With teeming horn.
Augur and lord of silver bow,
Apollo, darling of the Nine,
Who heal’st our frame when languors slow
Have made it pine;
Lov’st thou thine own Palatial hill,
Prolong the glorious life of Rome
To other cycles, brightening still
Through time to come!
From Algidus and Aventine
List, goddess, to our grave Fifteen!
To praying youths thine ear incline,
Thus Jove and all the gods agree!
So trusting, wend we home again,
Phoebus and Dian’s singers we,
And this our strain.
The estranging main.
“The unplumb’d, salt,
And slow Fate quicken’d Death’s once halting pace.
The commentators seem generally to connect Necessitas with Leti; I have preferred to separate them. Necessitas occurs elsewhere in Horace (Book I, Ode 35, v. 17; Book III, Ode 1, v. 14; Ode 24, v. 6) as an independent personage, nearly synonymous with Fate, and I do not see why she should not be represented as accelerating the approach of Death.
I have ventured to model my version of this Ode, to some extent, on Milton’s, “the high-water mark,” as it has been termed, “which Horatian translation has attained.” I have not, however, sought to imitate his language, feeling that the attempt would be presumptuous in itself, and likely to create a sense of incongruity with the style of the other Odes.